California district hires firm to monitor students' social media - CNN.com
Los Angeles (CNN) -- A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students' posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year."When the government -- and public schools are part of the government -- engages in any kind of line-crossing and to actually go and gather information about people away from school, that crosses a line," Tien said.Read the rest of the article in the link."People say that's not private: It's public on Facebook. I say that's just semantics. The question is what is the school doing? It's not stumbling into students -- like a teacher running across a student on the street. This is the school sending someone to watch them," Tien said.
So I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, the only way I see this becoming a good idea is if it teaches kids that the internet is no joke and that they shouldn't post personal information online for everyone to see. And hence, the kids would delete or not make FB accounts or myspace or what naught, or if they do, get educated on not behaving in a way that would be damaging for them in the future.
But even so. You're going to have a lot of kids growing up with the idea that it's FINE for someone, a state institution, to monitor them. It's fine to have surveillance. It's the way things should be. So when these kids have to go and vote for the next congressmen and president and what naught, the fact that there were privacy scandals and surveillance laws passed won't be such a big deal if it will be a big deal at all.